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Restoring caribou habitat in northern Alberta

Cenovus has a project underway to help protect and restore wildlife habitat in northern Alberta. This includes the habitat of the Alberta Woodland Caribou, which is considered an endangered species in Alberta and is protected by the provincial Wildlife Act. Its population is declining.

During exploration activities over the past 40 years, many oil and gas companies cut corridors for seismic exploration and access routes. Exploration and restoration techniques have since improved so there’s less disturbance of the forest, but the older corridors have been slow to return to forest cover. These long open stretches within the boreal forest attracted deer and moose as well as their predators – primarily wolves – to existing caribou habitat. As a result, more caribou are being preyed upon.

Our environmental specialists developed the Linear Deactivation Pilot Project (LiDea) to restore these older disturbed areas to their natural state. In areas near our oil sands operations, we’re testing a number of treatments — mounding the ground, planting coniferous trees, adding woody debris and leaning tree stems into the pathways — with the goal of restoring the forest structure and giving young trees a chance to grow more quickly.

Cenovus is measuring and monitoring the results of the pilot phase of the project and sharing what we learn with others through Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA).

For more details on our project, view the fact sheet.

Find out about the innovative techniques we’re using to regenerate forest growth along old seismic lines to help protect and restore wildlife habitat.

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Related information

  • Cenovus is a member of COSIA, a group of oil sands producers working together to capture, develop and share the most innovative approaches and best thinking to improve environmental performance in the oil sands
  • Oil sands companies are collaborating to restore caribou habitat in northeastern Alberta, find out more

Keeping a watchful eye on wildlife

A remote camera program at our Christina Lake and Foster Creek operations monitors wildlife and helps us make improvements in our operating areas and limit our impact as much as possible. Find out more.